‘Non gogoa…’, the human being and the mountain

‘Non gogoa…’, the human being and the mountainJavi Colmenero

An ascent through nature, the high mountain landscape and the challenges and adventures it offers, hand in hand with two cartoonists from Navarra who are also great lovers of the mountains: the writer Javier Mina and the cartoonist Pedro Osés. This is what the album in Basque proposes Where the mind…which, more than thirty years after its gestation, is published for the first time by the publisher They denounce you with several unpublished comics. The work is complemented by the exhibition of several original vignettes of the publication in the Altxerri gallery in Donostia.

Where the mind… group nine short stories based on historical events and memories of mountaineers such as Gary Hemming, Iñaki Aldaia, Bianca di Beaco, Kurt Diemberger or Reinhold Messner, with an intimate treatment of the characters and a particular poetics of nature. The edition of this album in Basque is a recovery of the comic heritage.

Between 1983 and 1984, Pedro Osés and Javier Mina published, among other comics, a series of comics dedicated to mountaineering in the magazine for the promotion of the Basque language Habeko Mikcreating a fortunate and recognized creative tandem to which, four decades later, the publisher Denonartean rescues and pays homage, compiling in this album with a suggestive title the original comics, together with two other unpublished ones.

While Pedro Osés represents the human figure ascending through the monumental landscape of the high mountain or faced with the inclement weather and circumstances of each adventure in vignettes of great pictorial power, Javier Mina reproduces his laconic reflections, in an interior monologue that goes from existential astonishment to a confirmation of physical effort, overcoming or loneliness. They are stories of extreme situations and camaraderie, with occasional fantastic elements, that describe the special relationship between those who admire the mountains and dare to measure themselves with their nature.

Original cartoons by Pedro Osés and Javier Mina that can be visited at the Altxerri gallery in Donostia

“Most of these comics saw the light andn the 80s in the publication of the Basque Government Habeko Mik, where every season we did something thematic. They are based on historical events related to high mountains”, says the cartoonist Pedro Osés, who celebrates the publication of Denonartean, which includes unpublished comics and a folder with an exhibition of his drawings that, as a personal tribute, he dedicates to the American mountaineer Gary Hemming, who “made a rescue in the Alps of some German mountaineers who were in an inaccessible place,” says the cartoonist from Navarra.

Seeing the physical publication more than thirty years later “is nice”, admits Javier Mina. “In addition, since the mountain is something so timeless and we told stories that go back to the end of the 19th century, all historical events, I think they have stood the test of time well. The geographical framework of the mountains is the same, the only thing that has changed is the clothing and preparation of the mountaineers, but nothing else”, reflects the writer.

With these vignettes, he points out, “we tried to ensure that, both through the drawing and the texts, the reader was somehow involved in the story, to get a little inside the head of the mountaineer and feel what he felt; we wanted to make him an accomplice, They are strong moments, some limits, and it was about bringing those experiences closer to him so that he could see it with his own eyes and feel it as these crazy mountaineers could feel it. that are measured with the power of nature and with the limits. Because it’s not just any nature, it’s nature on the edge, it means looking for almost the most difficult yet, the most complicated route”, says Mina.

Unexpected storms or amazing and unpredictable events “like the one involving a Welsh climber who fell into a piece of wall, believing he was going to kill himself but miraculously surviving” -says the writer-, star in the cartoons of Where the mind…

A project that was gestated in its day over a slow fire. “It was a time when there was no Internet or networks or anything, we had to look for topics in the library pulling out paper tabs, go to the books and communicate as a cartoonist and writer by postal mail and by phone… A much longer process. more laborious and complex than it could be today, with the ease of immediacy that networks allow”, Javier Mina ditch.

The authors

  • Pedro Osés (Pamplona, ​​1942). Painter and illustrator with more than 40 solo and 80 collective exhibitions to his credit, he is one of the pioneers of Basque-Navarrese comics with albums such as Invasion aplajada, Los apaches de París, Perro, Negu luzeegia or At this speed we are going to hit it. . He has published in titles such as Disco Expres, Hamelin, Makoki, Madriz, El Víbora or Habeko Mik.
  • Javier Mina (Pamplona, ​​1950). A graduate in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne, he is a writer, painter and photographer. In the 80s he alumbed an intense comic production. He has written short comics for Habeko Mik, Ipurbeltz, Makoki or The Viper, as well as the screenplay for the albums Postponed Invasion, The Apaches of Paris and Negu luzeegia.

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